Published on March 7, 2014
CHEE – Lecture on South Asia Ancient World History Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Bangladesh, Bhutan
Gandhi (1869-1948) in South Africa (1893-1915) Satyagraha or Soul Force
South Asia – India & Pakistan
TIMELINE – South Asia 200,000 YA Paleolithic communities 8-7000 BCE Agriculture begins in South Asia 5000 BCE Cotton cultivation, domestication of chickens 3300-1500 Harappan society 3300 BCE Harappan writing 2300-1750 Trade with Mesopotamians 1900-1500 Harappan decline 1500 Aryan migration to India 1500-500 Vedic Age 1400-900 Composition of the Rig Veda 1000 Aryan migrations into the Ganges River valley Emergence of varna distinctions 1000-500 Formation of regional kingdoms in northern India 800-400 Composition of the Upanishads (Indian reflections and dialogues reflecting Hindu concepts) 750 First Aryan cities in the Ganges valley 500 Aryan migrations to the Deccan Plateau
Harappan Society - Dravidians
Harappan Society – Dravidian peoples 8-7000 BCE Beginning of agriculture 5000 BCE Cotton cultivation Domestication of chickens Harappan writing (or 2300) Harappan decline 3300 BCE 1900 BCE Still under water*
UNESCO – 1920s Save Mohenjo-Daro Stamps
Major Dravidian cities (Pakistan) • Harappa • Mohenjo-Daro – 70 smaller sites excavated (total 1,500)
Mohenjo-Daro artefacts seal Dancing girl Priest-king
Mohenjo-Daro • Population c. 40,000 • Center with city walls, citadel, granary, tax collections, market places, temples • Private bathrooms, showers & toilets with city sewage system • Weights, measures, architectural styles • Specialized labor • Trade with Persia, Mesopotamia via ships (cotton, pepper, pearls & gems)
Harappa artist rendition Excavated site
Harappa fertility deities
Aryans “noble people” Language groups 1. Afro-Asiatic – (ancient Egyptian, Semitic, Hebrew, Arabic) 2. Austronesian – greatest reach of the language groups – from Hawaii-New Zealand- Southeast Asia -Madagascar… 3. Indo-European – Aryans – (Greek, Sanskrit, Latin) 4. Sino-Tibetan – China to Tibet Some groups do not fit these categories and appear unrelated, or there are so many… 5. New Guinea, 1/5 of the world’s languages 6. Or in North America with native Americans.
Aryans Arrived 1500 BCE o Called themselves the “noble people” o Indo-Europeans with horses, cattle, sheep & goat o Sang religious hymns in Sanskrit called the Vedas The Aryan God, Indra
The Aryan God, Indra Indra killed a dragon who lived in the sky and hoarded water in the clouds. As the dragon fell, his weight caused such turmoil in the sky to bring rain and filled the rivers in India
1500-500 BCE – Vedic Age Veda - means wisdom or knowledge the priests needed to carry out their religious functions. – frequent Aryan attacks on Dravidians – Varna – or Caste (Portuguese) means color – Aryans – “Wheat-colored” – Dravidians, darker
The Caste System ~ 1000 B.C.E* (social hierarchy instead of a large imperial state) 1. Brahmins - priests 2. Kshatriyas - warriors & nobles 3. Vaishyas - artisans & merchants 4. Shudras - landless peasants & serfs *the untouchables – those who handle the dead/animals. *jati – subcastes *created centuries later
Aryan Migrations to Ganges River ~1000 BCE
800-400 BCE The Upanishads Disciples “sitting in front of” a sage to discuss religious ideas Brahman – universal soul (each person is a part) Samsara - the transmigration of the soul Karma – the sum of good and bad deeds that determine one’s position in the next life (plant/animal) Moksha – the ultimate goal of obtaining a deep dreamless sleep with permanent liberation from physical incarnation). Blending of Aryan & Dravidian values.
Classical societies (500 BCE - 500 CE) Characteristics – • high degrees of internal organization, • authority over extremely large regions • elaborate influential cultural traditions
Classical Societies – Common Solutions 1. Vast territories - created transportation & communication infrastructure & bureaucracies 2. Military challenges – raised armies 3. Bureaucracy & military costs – Taxation 4. Equitable distribution of land and wealth? 5. Long-distance trade 6. Cultural & religious traditions
520 BCE, Persian Emperor Darius conquers parts of north-western India
South Asia – Classical society o Buddhism o Jainism o and the continuing evolution of an older religion, Hinduism, originating from Vedic philosophy
Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha “the enlightened one” 563-483 BCE First-second century CE
Gautama, a wealthy prince
The Great Departure Gautama Leaves his Princely Life at Age 29 Sculpture from the 2nd century CE
Gautama, ascetic, undergoes a Fast •to become an ascetic, nearly starves himself.
Enlightenment after 49 days of meditation, achieves enlightenment
Buddhist Doctrine: The Dharma or the Four Noble Truths: 1. life is pain, 2. this pain is caused by desire, 3. eliminating desire eliminates suffering, and 4. following the Noble Eightfold Path eliminates desire (right views, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration)
The Noble Eightfold Path called for leading a balanced and moderate life and avoiding extremes. Passionless Nirvana (immortality, free from reincarnation) was the final goal.
Buddha and his Disciples o Begins teaching new doctrine c. 528 BCE o Followers owned only robes, food bowls o Life of wandering, begging, meditation o Establishment of monastic communities 34
Appeal of Buddhism o Less dependence on Brahmins for ritual activities o No recognition of caste, jati status o Philosophy of moderate consumption o Public service through lay teaching o Use of vernacular, not Sanskrit 35
JAINISM Vardhamana Mahavira, 540-468 BCE Abandoned privileged family to lead ascetic life Jains oBelieve everything in the universe possesses a soul osweep earth, strain water, use slow movements to avoid killing insects opractice ahimsa (nonviolence) oAhimsa continues to inspire modern movements (Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr.)
Appeal of Jainism o Rejected caste, jati distinctions o Obvious appeal to underprivileged groups o But asceticism too extreme to become a mass movement 37
Hinduism Bhagavad-Gita c. 300 BCE – 400 CE “Song of the Lord” – Mahabharata, great epic poem
Hinduism Hindu ethics – 4 principal aims of human life 1) dharma - obedience to religious & moral laws 2) artha – pursuit of economic well-being and honest prosperity 3) kama - the enjoyment of social, physical and sexual pleasure 4) moksha – the salvation of the soul a proper balance of the first 3 would help an individual attain moksha
India - Foreign Invasions o 520 BCE Darius of Persia invades o 327 BCE Alexander of Macedon invades (& spreads Greek language, culture) Leaves a power vacuum
Alexander's Empire Conquers & Unifies the Region, c. 327 B.C.E.
321-185 BCE Mauryan Dynasty 321-297 BCE Chandragupta Maurya’s reign Maurya (united India’s small kingdoms for the first time)
The Mauryan & Gupta Empires 321 BCE - 550 CE
Kautalya. Arthashastra - Regarding war • Arthashastra, a manual on political statecraft & administration – Domestic policies • Network of spies • Regarding war - any two states that share a common border are destined to fight • three types of war: (1) the war of righteous duty, (2) the war for conquest, and (3) the war for destruction. Advisor Kautalya
Chandragupta Maurya Legend: Chandragupta retires to become a monk, starves himself to death
Ashoka Maurya’s Reign 268-232 BCE • Grandson of Chandragupta • Conqueror & Governor • Brought Mauryan Empire to its height during reign, 268-232 BCE • Created an efficient bureaucracy & tax system • Buddhist – sent missionaries around the region
268-232 BCE Reign of Ashoka Maurya India at its height • • • • built roads, promoted agriculture, collected taxes efficiently, created a well-run bureaucracy • Expanded empire to include all of Indian subcontinent except for south • integrated Indian society
Ashoka’s Support of Buddhism o Personal conversion to Buddhism o Disillusioned after violent war with Kalinga o Banned animal sacrifices, mandated vegetarianism in court o Material support for Buddhist institutions, missionary activities
Ashoka – Buddhist Stupa Sanchi, India
Changes in Buddhist thought 3rd c. BCE – 1st c. CE – Buddha considered divine – Institution of Boddhisatvas (“saints” or enlightened beings) – Charitable donations to monasteries regarded as pious activity 51
A Buddhist Monastery 52
Decline of the Mauryan Empire o Economic crisis follows death of Ashoka o High costs of bureaucracy, military not supported by tax revenue o Frequent devaluations of currency to pay salaries o Mauryan Empire abandoned & disappears by 185 BCE
The Gupta Empire 320 CE –550 CE because of the White Huns Invasion India would not be reunited for a thousand years until the Mughal Dynasty of the sixteenth century
Lecture: South Asia Part II: India and the Indian Ocean World
Buzurg ibn Shahriyar’s Book of the Wonders of India. 953 Buzurg – tenth century shipmaster from the Persian Gulf, Siraf oWrote 136 stories oTall tales & realistic ones oIndian king who converted to Islam & studies Islamic law oJewish rags to riches after traveling to India & China
The trading world of the Indian Ocean basin
Cross-Cultural Trade in the Indian Ocean Basin • Trade increases in post-classical period • Larger ships – Dhows, junks • Improved organization of agricultural efforts • Establishment of Emporia – Cosmopolitan port cities serve as warehouses for trade • Specialized products developed (cotton, highcarbon steel)
Population Growth in India 120 100 80 60 Millions 40 20 0 600 CE 800 CE 1000 CE 1500 CE
Economic Development and Social Distinctions • The growth of long-distance trade and manufacturing encouraged the rise of towns. • India connected to the larger imperial states in China, Persia, and southwest Asia • Society became strongly patriarchal, and works such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana portrayed women as weak-willed. • Child marriages became increasingly common.
Society: Gender Relations • Patriarchy entrenched • Child marriage common (8 year old girls married to men in 20s) • Women encouraged to remain in private sphere 61
Social Order Caste system from Aryan times – Brahmins (priests) – Kshatriyas (warriors, aristocrats) – Vaishyas (Peasants, merchants) – Shudras (serfs) 62
Castes and Guilds • Increasing economic diversification challenges simplistic caste system • Jatis formed: guilds that acted as sub-castes • Enforced social order – “outcastes” forced into low-status employment 63
Wealth and the Social Order • Upward social mobility possible for Vaishyas, Shudras (peasants & serfs) • Wealth challenges varna (caste) status 64
Religions of Salvation in Classical India • Social change generated resentment of caste privilige – e.g. Brahmins free from taxation • 6th-5th c. BCE new religions and philosophies challenge status quo • Charvakas: atheists • Jainists, Buddhists 65
Spread of Mahayana Buddhism • Mahayana (“greater vehicle”), newer development – India, China, Japan, Korea, central Asia • Hinayana (“lesser vehicle,” also Theravada), earlier version – Ceylon, Burma, Thailand 66
Mahayana Buddhism flourished because of education institutions Nalanda oBuddhist Monastery oQuasi-university: Buddhism, Hindu texts, philosophy, astronomy, medicine oPeak at end of Gupta dynasty oHelped spread Indian thought o E.g. mathematical number zero
Emergence of Popular Hinduism: Bhagavad-Gita Centuries of revisions, final form c. 400 CE “Song of the Lord” Dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna during civil war oComposition of epics from older oral traditions - Mahabharata, Ramayana oEmphasis on god Vishnu and his incarnations “Song of the Lord” – Mahabharata, great epic poem
Hindu Ethics • Emphasis on meeting class obligations (dharma) • Pursuit of economic well-being and honesty (artha) • Enjoyment of social, physical and sexual pleasure (kama) • Salvation of the soul (moksha) 69
Popularity of Hinduism o Popularity grew for devotional cults like Vishna, preserver of the world, & Shivu, fertility deity o Gradually replaced Buddhism in India 70
Temporary restoration of Unified rule in North India under King Harsha (r. 606-648 CE) King Harsha (r. 606-648 CE) oYoung, energetic, and able oBuddhist, but also religiously tolerant oGenerous support for poor oPatron of the arts o Wrote three plays oAssassinated, no successor able to retain control
Islam arrives in India through Conquest & Trade o 711 - Arabs conquer Sind (northwest India), Abbasid Dynasty to 1258 o Arabic trade with India predates Islam o Muslim merchants at the coast married Indians, establishing local Muslim communities in India o E.g. Cambay o Migrations of Turkish-speaking peoples from Central Asia o Delhi Sultanate c.1300
The Sultanate of Delhi ruled northern India from 1206-1526 o Consolidated the raiding territory of Mahmud of Ghazni (Afghani Turk), 1001-1027, who built mosques on top of Hindu and Buddhist temples after destroying them o Built capital at Delhi, with a weak administrative structure o Relied on the cooperation of Hindu kings o Assassinated 19 out of 35 Sultans
Hindu Kingdoms of Southern India • Chola Kingdom, 8501267 – Maritime power – Not highly centralized • Kingdom of Vijayanagar – Northern Deccan – Originally supported by Sultanate of Delhi – Leaders renounce Islam in 1336 – Yet maintain relations with Sultantate
Temples and Indian Society Temples and Indian Society •More than religious centers •Center of coordination of irrigation, other agricultural work – Some Temples had large landholdings •Education providers •Banking services Kailasanatha Temple at Ellora
Challenges to Caste and Society • • • • Migrations Growth of Islam Urbanization Economic development – Development of Jati (subcastes) – Similar to worker’s guilds • Caste system expands from north to south • Promoted by Temples, educational system
Decline of Buddhism • Buddhism displaced as Turkish invasions destroy holy sites, temples • 1196 Muslim forces destroy library of Nalanda – Thousands of monks exiled
Development of Hinduism • Growth of devotional cults – Esp. Vishnu, Shiva • Promise of salvation • Especially popular in southern India, spreads to north
Devotional Philosophers • Shankara, Brahmin philosopher of 9th c. CE – Devotee of Shiva – Synthesized Hindu writings in Platonic form – Preferred rigorous logical analysis to emotional devotion • Ramanuja, Brahmin philosopher 11th-early 12th c. – Challenges Shankara’s emphasis on intellect – Laid philosophical foundations of contemporary Hinduism
Conversion to Islam • 25 million converts by 1500 (1/4 of total population) • Possibilities of social advancement for lower-caste Hindus – Rarely achieved: whole castes or jatis convert, social status remains consistent
The Bhakti Movement • Attempt to bring Hinduism and Islam closer together • 12th c. southern Hindu movement, spread to north • Guru Kabir (1440-1518) – Taught that Shiva, Vishnu, Allah all manifestations of one Deity – Largely unsuccessful
Indian Influence in Southeast Asia • Influence dates from 500 BCE • Evidence of Indian ideas and traditions – Kingship – Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) – Literature • Caste system not as influential
Early States of Southeast Asia • Funan – Lower Mekong River, 1st-6th c. CE • Kingdom of Srivijaya – Centered in Sumatra, 670-1025 CE • Kingdom of Angkor – Cambodia, 889-1431 CE – Magnificent religious city complexes
The Spread of Islam to Southeast Asia •Early populations of Muslim traders •Tenth Century – Islam prominent, while retaining Hindu or Buddhist traditions •Fifteenth Century – state of Melaka with a powerful navy became Islamic
Kingdom of Angkor – Cambodia, 889-1431 CE – Magnificent religious city complexes
Later states of Southeast Asia: Angkor, Singosari, and Majapahit, 889-1520 C.E. •Early populations of Muslim traders •Tenth Century – Islam prominent, while retaining Hindu or Buddhist traditions •Fifteenth Century – state of Melaka with a powerful navy became Islamic
State of Melaka (Modern Indonesia’s Sumatra) o Founded late 14th c. CE by rebellious prince of Sumatra o Dominated maritime trade routes o Mid-15th c. converts to Islam
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